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Episode 5: Resisting Chemical Valley with Vanessa Gray & Ada Lockridge

Activists from Aamjiwnaang First Nation are demanding corporate accountability in heart of Canada's petrochemical industry

by The Built Environment

Episode 5: Resisting Chemical Valley with Vanessa Gray & Ada Lockridge

This podcast is the 5th episode of a new podcast called the Built Environment (BE). The BE focuses on issues of violence against people & land, as well as some of the common causal factors of these violences. The podcast features activists, artists, and educators who are committed to resistance and to building non-violent futures. The BE is hosted and produced by Marsha McLeod & Brenna Owen. 

This episode features two conversations between Brenna Owen, our friend and colleague Fatin Chowdhury, and Vanessa Gray and Ada Lockridge of Aamjiwnaang First Nation near Sarnia, Ontario. Sarnia is the heart of Canada's petrochemical industry, with over 60 facilities for processing chemicals and tar sands oil. Around 700 people call Aamjiwnaang home, and experience the immediate impacts of heavy industry each day. Listen to hear Vanessa and Ada share their experiences resisting industry.

Vanessa Gray co-founded the organization ASAP (Aamjiwnaang & Sarnia Against Pipelines) and co-organizes the annual Toxic Tour, which allows people from outside Aamjiwnaang to see the extent of the industry first hand. The next tour will take place on August 21, 2016. For more information, visit the Facebook event:

Most recently, in December 2015, Vanessa and two friends used the manual shut-off valve for Enbridge Line 9 just outside Sarnia to stop the pipeline's flow. She faces the charges of mischief over $5000 and mischief endangering the lives of others -- a charge that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Ada Lockridge has advocated tirelessly for her community for 15 years, including launching a request through the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to investigate Shell for several incidents under the province's Environmental Bill of Rights. You'll hear about these and more impacts of industry and lack of government oversight in the episode.

Further Information:
"Protesters Keep Shutting Down the Line 9 Oil Pipeline" by David…ine-9-oil-pipeline

"Charge laid against Shell Canada for refinery spill in “Chemical Valley” via…chemical-valley/

"Sisters host ‘Toxic Tours’ of their home in Canada’s Chemical Valley" via…hemical-valley/


Fatin Chowdhury portfolio:

Episode photo by Brenna Owen.

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Topics: Environment

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The Built Environment is a semi-regular podcast about the intersections between violence against people and land in Canada. Hosted and produced by Marsha McLeod & Brenna Owen, the Built Environment can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @thebuiltenviro.

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